Imperial geranium

Imperial geranium origins and characteristics

Geranium, belonging to the Pelargonium family, is one of the most common flowers in the world, especially as an ornamental plant for balconies and terraces. Its area of ​​origin is southern Africa even if today it is found everywhere. The imperial geranium is just one of the many varieties of geranium existing in the world. Unlike others, such as the climbing one, the zonal one, the pendulous one or the ivy one, the imperial geraniumit reaches a higher height: it has very long stems and has an erect posture, the foliage is denser and the flowers much larger and more numerous. Even the inflorescences are very particular, not only for their size, but also for their colors: they exist in all shades, white, pink, yellow, red, purple and even streaked in two colors. In young plants it is advisable to insert a support that helps the plant to assume a straight and vertical shape.

Imperial geranium cultivation

Like all geraniums, even the imperial one prefers direct exposure to the sun’s rays, however it grows well even in partial shade. If there is not enough light, the plant will produce many leaves and few flowers, sometimes none at all. The imperial geranium can also be planted on the ground but, usually, it is used as a decorative plant and therefore is grown in pots or tubs. For common geraniums, normal pots are sufficient, but for the imperial you need a pot with a larger diameter since the plant is much larger than its sisters of the same species. If you want to grow, for example, imperial geraniumsof different colors to form a colored barrier on your balconies, then it is advisable to choose large tanks of an adequate length to accommodate more plants. A certain space must be left between one specimen and another because the imperial variety is very thick, therefore its foliage can reach a certain size.

Imperial geranium care and maintenance

In any nursery it is possible to buy specific soil for imperial geraniums. The important thing is that there is peat and clay in the compound, to ensure that the plant retains water in the summer months. About every four months, the geranium should be fertilized with a mixture of humus and slow release fertilizer. The regularity of fertilization is essential to obtain abundant and lasting flowering. Geraniums tolerate drought well, while they do not tolerate water stagnation: for this reason it is absolutely necessary to avoid watering them too often and in large quantities. From June to September they should be watered every day, in modest quantities and preferably early in the morning. In winter it is enough to water them even once a week but, in any case, only when the soil is dry.

Multiplication imperial geranium

An insecticide product should be applied to the imperial geranium approximately every twenty days to prevent attacks by parasites typical of this plant, such as mites and aphids. These insects usually accumulate on leaves, causing them to turn yellow and then fall off. In spring and autumn, the enemy is rust, that is, spots on the leaves, which can be fought with sulfur-based products. At the beginning of spring the imperial geranium should be pruned, removing only the old or damaged parts; the multiplication of this plant can take place by cuttings in order to reproduce exactly a copy of the mother plant. The apical part of the geranium must be removed for a maximum of 15 centimeters: then the leaves at the base must be removed and finally planted in a duly prepared and drained soil. After about a month, the new plant can be removed and planted elsewhere, if necessary; in this first period the soil must be kept humid, but without stagnation, and the leaves must be moistened.

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